Tired, glassy-eyed and stringy haired, covered in clammy fever-sweat, which is worse than mere hard-working sweat, I groggily went to the door to get the Fed Ex package and gazed at it thoughtfully.*

My father had called to say, some days before, that his birthday present was arriving a little late because the ebay seller had shipped slowly. I had thanked him for sending something, and with the generalized lack of materialism that categorizes many adult birthdays, promptly forgot that anybody was sending me anything, so by the time it arrived, I had done exactly no speculation on the matter.

“Hmm…” I thought groggily. “Ebay…?” and slit the box, pulled out the packaging, and gaped a gape from dangling jaw, as “The World of Michael Parkes” fell into my lap. (I had expressed an interest in this book some months back, in the general format of “I cannot BELIEVE what people are charging for this book!”)

Dude. Wow. It wouldn’t have even occurred to me to ask for something like that if I’d be been thinking, but DUDE! Awesome!

In order to get my father something he likes half so much for HIS birthday, I’d probably have to learn about cars. (Restoring Jaguars is his great love.) This is just not gonna happen, since cars are an even vaster mystery to me than computers, and I know better than to get experts anything in their field. Maybe I can find some nice Series I Jaguar memorabilia somewhere…

And now, I am going to go take a shower, that my plague-ridden self not taint the coolness of the pages, and then sit on the couch for an hour going “Oooooo…”

*Frankly, I don’t care what the Fed-Ex guy thinks, since I know the great secret–I’m undoubtedly not the most haggard person on his route today, and as long as I am not naked, screaming, or rude, he will have forgotten me within thirty seconds.

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